Tuesday, 25 August 2020
Title: Hiding From God
By: Dorothy Teoh

Psalm 139: 1-16 (NIV)

Have you ever felt far from God? You put off spending time with Him, you don’t feel like praying or reading the Bible, and worship songs and sermons leave you unmoved. And if you do try to sit down to read the Bible and pray, it seems as if you’re merely going through the motions.

Well, I have experienced times like that. Instead of sitting down to do my morning devotion, I fill the day with chores and activities and try to ignore that niggling thought at the back of my mind, that I should be spending time with God and pouring out my heart to Him, on whatever it is that is keeping me from Him.

When that happens, I find Psalm 139 to be very helpful. In verses 7-10, David asks God:

7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

There is nowhere we can go where God is not present.

And God knows us inside out. If our frames were not hidden from God when we were being made in the secret place (v15-16), what makes us think we can hide from God?

And yet, sometimes, for whatever reason, whether it’s unconfessed sin, unforgiveness or something that we know we need to do and we don’t want to because it’s not pleasant or easy, we try to get away from Him. We think that if we avoid spending time with God, if we don’t come into His presence, we can hide.

But Psalm 139 reminds me that God is always present, even when I am not. More than being just present, He knows everything that is going on with me – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

David says in the opening verses of Psalm 139:
1 O LORD, You have searched me, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.

Elizabeth Elliot says in ‘Be honest with God’ in her book Keep a Quiet Heart: “Since God knows our thoughts even before we think them, isn’t it absurd of us to hesitate to tell Him the straight truth about ourselves? When we feel we ought to try to cover our spiritual nakedness it is good for us to open up Psalm 139…”

So, there is no point in trying to run from God or in trying to hide my ‘spiritual nakedness’ from Him because He knows everything about me. Not only does He know, He cares.

Verse 5 talks about God hemming us in – behind and before. Hemming can seem restrictive; a curtailment of freedom. But to me, it speaks of God’s love and protection, like a hedge around me to keep me safe.

Even when I don’t feel like praying or reading the Bible, God is still there, watching over me. Like the loving father in the parable of the prodigal son, He is also waiting for us to come to our senses and make our way back to Him, whether we have wandered for a day or many days, a year or many years.

So, instead of running away from God, let’s run to Him and pray as David did in Psalm 139.

Prayer

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. AMEN.

星期二,2020年8月25号

标题:躲避上帝
讲员:Dorothy Teoh
翻译:陈晓佩姐妹

[诗篇139:1-18]

你是否曾经感觉和上帝疏远呢?你拖延花时间和祂交通,你不想祷告或读经,每当敬拜唱诗和听道都没有感动。而当你尝试坐下读经和祷告时, 你觉得好像例行公事。

我也有过这些的经历。我以日常事务取代早上灵修亲近上帝的时间, 尝试不理会脑后督促的声音,提醒我应该和上帝有交通和倾心吐意的时间。

每当这情况发生的时候, 我觉得诗篇139 很有帮助。 第7-10节,大卫问上帝:
7我往那里去躲避你的灵.我往那里逃躲避你的面。8我若升到天上、你在那里.我若在阴间下榻、你也在那里。9我若展开清晨的翅膀、飞到海极居住。
10就是在那里、你的手必引导我.你的右手、也必扶持我。

我们无法逃离上帝的面。

上帝从里到外都认识我们。如果我们在暗中受造,我们的形体并不向上帝隐藏(15-16节),我们有什么理由认为我们可以躲避上帝呢?

然而,有些时候因着某些原因,无论是有不认的罪,不解怨或者有些事我们知道应当去做却不去做,因为不合意或不容易,这时候我们就尝试远离上帝。我们认为只要我们避免和上帝交通, 我们不来到祂面前,我们就可以隐藏起来。

但是诗篇139提醒我们上帝一直都在,就算我不是。上帝不只是同在,祂完全知道我的情况 - 生理,思想,情绪和灵性。

大卫在诗篇139开头写到:

1耶和华啊、你已经鉴察我、认识我。2我坐下、我起来、你都晓得.你从远处知道我的意念。3我行路、我躺卧、你都细察、你也深知我一切所行的。4耶和华阿、我舌头上的话、你没有一句不知道的。

伊丽莎白.艾略特在她的书‘Keep a Quiet Heart’里的其中一章 ’Be honest with God’ 写到:“既然上帝在我们还未想到之前已预先知道我们的意念,而我们却犹豫不向祂坦诚自己,那不是荒唐吗?当我们想要掩盖我们赤裸裸的灵性光景,就是时候打开诗篇139。。。“

所以我们别想要逃离上帝或着是在祂面前试着掩盖自己‘赤裸裸的灵性光景’因为祂知道我们的一切。祂不只是知道,祂还关心我们。

第5 节 讲到上帝在我们的前后环绕着。环绕可以看为限制性;削弱自由。但,对我而言,这是上帝的爱和祂的保护,就好像一个围篱在我的周围护卫着我。
就算我不想祷告读经,上帝还是在那里,看守着我。好像浪子比喻里的那位慈爱的父亲,祂也在等候我们领悟过来和回转,无论我们游荡了一天,许多天,一年还是许多年。

既然如此,与其逃离上帝,我们不如就像大卫在诗篇139篇那样,快跑来到祂面前祷告。

祷告

神阿、求你鉴察我、知道我的心思、试炼我、知道我的意念。看在我里面有甚么恶行没有、引导我走永生的道路。阿们

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